Park City Mathematics Institute
International Seminar
Summer 2005 Overview


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Chile
   
Germany
   
Iran
   
Russia
   
Singapore
   
Uganda
   
USA
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PCMI International Seminar: Bridging Policy and Practice Summer, 2005

Missing from the current discourse on mathematics education is an insightful examination of educational systems around the world from the perspective of what actually works in teaching mathematics. Many traditions and practices in mathematics education in different countries have much to offer each other, and there are many current practices and visions of reform against which a particular country's concepts and policies must be critically examined.

PCMI has established the International Seminar on Mathematics Education as a fundamental component of its programming. Over the long term, the function of this Seminar will be to design and implement a series of reflections on common problems, along with suggestions for policy and practice and innovative offerings that will be made available to the international community. The set of countries represented will be expanded over time, with continuing attention to diversity and variety in educational challenges.

The fourth week-long international workshop, "Bridging Policy and Practice: Mathematics Education Around the World" was held as part of the 2005 PCMI Summer Session. This seminar focused on mathematics teacher education with a strong emphasis on preparing teachers to promote mathematical literacy for all students. The participants came as teams consisting of one mathematics education policy-maker and one practicing secondary mathematics teacher from each of seven countries (Chile, Germany, Iran, Russia, Singapore, Uganda, and USA).

Discussions and presentations related to

  • defining mathematical literacy in a way that is meaningful in international contexts
  • identifying elements of a core mathematical knowledge base for elementary school teachers and a core base for secondary school teachers
  • exploring the context of teacher preparation in each nation
  • examining the teachers' working conditions, and
  • identifying elements of teacher preparation, professional development, and working conditions that maximize teachers' ability to help all of their students achieve mathematical literacy.

The participants worked together to establish consensus on various issues that emerged in the course of the discussions, and formed working groups to further explore these issues. One product of these efforts is a document that presents the participants views on four specific topics. Participants from previous seminars had the opportunity to review these documents and their comments contributed to the final version that is posted as the official record of the 2005 PCMI International Seminar. This document is available on the PCMI@MathForum website at http://mathforum.org/pcmi/PCMI2005IntSeminar.pdf

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